Media and Reserve Library Collection Management Policy

About Collection

The Media and Reserve Library provides, maintains and develops a collection of media and accompanying print materials to support UWM’s academic curriculum and research needs.  The collection facilitate the instruction of difficult concepts through the use of visual and audio images to increase efficiency of learning.  It provides a cultural diverse collection of media resources to support and enrich the University cultural and intellectual resources.

Collection Level

Advanced Study (Research Level)

Collection Profile

 Given the interdisciplinary nature of the Media and Reserve Library and the UWM curriculum, all subject matter is considered for acquisition. Focus is on substantive informational documentary, literary, and dramatic materials. Purely recreational materials (e.g. hobby, vocational and self-help works) are generally not collected.

Selection criteria must remain broad and flexible in order to provide a collection which supports the

broad range of academic programs and diverse backgrounds of the Library’s clientele. Some subject areas are more frequently represented in the production of video and audio materials and are more suitable for video or audio presentation than others.  Criteria used include: appropriateness of the medium to the subject; timeliness of information; level of treatment; and technical quality. Equipment and network compatibility are also important factors in purchase decisions.

The Library’s efforts to comply with copyright law include a routine request for Classroom Public Performance rights with each purchase order for media materials.  Efforts are made to order from authorized United States vendors and distributors.

Formats Collected

  • DVDs (North American: Region 1 or O-all region)

DVD titles are collected with closed captions or English (SDH) subtitles for the hearing impaired whenever possible.   DVD-Rs are selectively collected due to their decreased playback reliability on many machines.

  • Blu-Rays (North American: Region A)

 Blu-Rays are selectively collected.  Some may be collected as part of a multi-format compilation.

  •  Digital/Streaming Collections

The decision to purchase digital rights to programs will be made on the basis of: cost; technical and contractual restrictions; nature of the program and course requirements; frequency with which it will be offered; and the number of users involved.  Some providers/distributors do not offer digital rights to their materials, or are placing such restrictions on their use that purchase of digital rights is not practical

  • Xbox and Wii Games

Xbox 360 and Wii Games are generally not collected although donations are accepted.

  • Audiobooks on CD (preferably unabridged)

Spoken word audio including speeches, dramatization of plays, other dramatic readings, poetry readings, classical works of fiction, examples of dramatic, documentary and historical radio broadcasts;  foreign language instruction, historical works, interviews and lectures are actively collected on compact disc.    Unabridged materials are collected as much as possible on audio cd.

  • 1/2″ VHS Videotape (NTSC North American Standard)

Videotapes are very selectively collected.  A small variety of educational and classic titles necessary to support the UWM academic curriculum are not (and will not) be available on DVD format and may be purchased on VHS.

Formats Not Collected

The Media and Reserve Library will not collect the following formats due principally to considerations of availability and cost of materials, equipment, and service: 16mm and 35mm film (with the exception of titles for the Cinema Arts Collection); 8mm film; 3/4″ videotape; Laserdisc; BETA videotape; international VHS, or any other material requiring equipment or facilities currently unavailable in the Library or on campus.

Technical Quality

While high technical audio and video quality (e.g., at or near professional broadcast standard) is preferred in the Media and Reserve Library collection, it is recognized that it may not always be possible to meet such exacting standards. Field recordings, off-air recordings, and certain categories of materials, such as silent films, frequently fail to meet the highest possible standards for technical quality. Nevertheless, most commercially available titles selected to support instruction will and must meet these professional broadcast standards. In all cases, titles whose picture and sound quality fail to convey the content will not be selected.  These same criteria apply to consideration for replacement. After evaluation of use, wear, and demand patterns, duplicates of selected titles will be purchased to facilitate circulation.

Special De-Selection Criteria

Deselection, or “weeding” will be done to maintain the quality and usefulness of the Library’s collections, as well as to enhance space utilization. Items may be removed from the collections because of poor physical condition (e.g., worn or damaged materials), low usage, or obsolescence of edition, format or subject treatment.


English, or foreign language productions with English subtitles are predominately collection, but no language is excluded.   Videos with closed captions or English (SDH) subtitles for the hearing impaired are preferred.